No injuries were reported when a furnace door blew open during an “unexpected violent reaction” in a chemistry laboratory at the Y-12 National Security Complex in May.
The door of the muffle furnace blew open while it was heating samples in an analytical chemistry laboratory in Building 9995 on Thursday, May 30, the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board said.
The muffle furnace was damaged, the DNFSB said. It is used to heat samples to high temperatures. The glass vials containing the samples shattered, and some were expelled from the muffle furnace into the work area, the safety board said in a June 7 report.
“The muffle furnace contained 18 samples that were of several material types, including uranium, laboratory waste including organic epoxies and sealants, and lithium compounds,” the DNFSB said. “One of the laboratory waste samples was also thought to contain a piece of cloth.”
No one was in the immediate area of the muffle furnace when the door blew open, but a chemist was in an adjacent work bay of the same room, the board said. The chemist was not injured, but a certain type of occurrence was declared due to a “near miss to an injury,” the DNFSB said.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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